Lessons Across Generations: My Father, Nostalgia and Old Movies

I have just finished reading an historical novel called The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish. It is an imaginative and beautifully-written story full of lessons in human nature, framed by juxtaposition of events in the small Jewish community of London beginning in the year 1657 with those of a pair of historians in the same city in the year 2000. Writings of a Hebrew scribe in the former period are discovered and analyzed by two historians in the latter. The tale oscillates between events as they happen in the 17th century and reading of them in the 21st. Much of human foibles and nobility are compellingly on display in this saltation between these eras. I will endeavor to review this superb book at a later date. For now, it serves as a catalyst of my recalling a troubling – but ultimately meaningful – encounter with my father, which occurred about 25 years ago; 15 years before his death at age 90 in 2010. It is noteworthy that the name Kadish is (depending upon one’s preferred transliteration) is reminiscent of “Kaddish,” a Jewish mourning prayer traditionally repeated daily for 11 months and then annually on the anniversary of a parent’s death.

My father was born in 1920 of Jewish immigrants who had fled life-threatening persecution in Ukraine. He was an aggressive man of many overcompensated insecurities. In particular, he often recited episodes of near-destitution during the depression. As a kid, in addition to being Jewish, he told of being overweight and the target of frequent bullying. In retrospect, I understand his concept of child-rearing as having been informed by a goal of “toughening me up,” in an attempt to spare me the suffering of his childhood. Such absence of inter-familial boundaries, I think, was typical of parents of his origin and generation. My mother’s rendition of this principle could be heard in the following imperative: “I feel cold. You go put on a sweater.” The emotional terrain of much of my childhood was thus frequently a dilemma – a choice between threats of abandonment (if you don’t do as I say, I will have nothing to do with you ever again) or enmeshment (you must remain a mere extension of me, an appendage – allow me to control your every act and thought). As a therapist once put it, “Your family sure put the ‘fun’ in dys-fun-ctional!” Nonetheless, I eventually worked though most of these challenges to personal growth and stopped blaming my parents for my problems. I only regret that it took me nearly 50 years to do it.... [Read More]


Millennial Millerites

An article on American Thinker today by Eric Utter says millennials aren’t bothering to save for the future because they don’t believe there will be one; climate change will destroy the planet in their  lifetimes.

Sadly I have heard young’uns of my acquaintance say, as Ocasio-Cortez did, that  they don’t want to have children because the children’s lives are likely to be so hot ‘n’ bothered.  Have you heard a twenty-something you love say this? It’s like having a door slammed in your face: the  future is cancelled, life will not be renewed for another season.... [Read More]


Rule Tommy Robinson, John Cleese, Morrissey

I only check in on the peripheries of most of this: I saw a Paul Joseph Watson video about John Cleese, who no matter how noxious *some* of his comments, is not wrong about London becoming a very not-English place.  John Cleese is no fan of politics as I like it (the Farage etc variety), but he must now be savaged for failure to genuflect before diversity.

So Tommy Robinson’s videos have reportedly been hidden on YouTube.  If you have a link or go to the channel‘s page, you can see the videos, but they won;t shopw up in any search, and certainly won’t pop up in “your” feed of “videos that Google thinks are right and good”.... [Read More]


The Prucölster Hart

Did you know that Procol Harum is still touring?  I am fond of pointing out that one of my favorite bands, the Blue Öyster Cult, has been touring longer than I have been alive.  I had no idea that this was also true for another of my favorites, the somehow-elusive Procol Harum.

Here’s a neat clip from a concert last year.  How can you not love Gary Brooker?  If you’re wondering what all the confusion in the beginning is about, I’ll fill you in.  Meanwhile:... [Read More]


Viganò vindicated – fingered by Figueiredo

Famous Bad Boy former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is back in the news, along with famous Bad Boy Cardinal Donald Wuerl.   A priest who was formerly McCarrick’s secretary and served as an aide on McCarrick’s travels to Rome has released some interesting correspondence that sheds light on what did Wuerl and Pope Francis know and when did they know it.   Other interesting inside-baseball Catholic issues are addressed.

You may recall that it was last year that Archbishop Viganò wrote a couple of letters about Theodore McCarrick, stating that Pope Benedict XVI had informally instructed him to quit public appearances and travel, but that McCarrick disregarded his instructions, and that Pope Francis knew all this and rehabilitated McCarrick anyway.   Viganò was trashed by fans of Pope Francis and called a liar by Pope Francis himself.   This new release of information corroborates some of Viganò’s key allegations.... [Read More]


Olives: Green, Black, or None?

How many of you eat olives? Which type do you eat? I prefer the black but don’t mind the green olives. Are there any olive recipes that you know of?

A fond memory for me was on Thanksgiving Day eating black olives by putting four of them on the end of my fingers and then eating them. It was fun especially if a brother was doing the same thing. ... [Read More]


Serenity As A Time Share

It being the Red Headed Irish Wisecracker’s birthday we headed to the Ridgefield NWR, which is only seven miles from where our new home will be.

Memorial Day weekend weather here in the Wet Northwest is soggy, with 99.9% chance of overcast except for brief gorgeous sunshine, deep blue skies and white cumulus clouds if you act without hesitation.... [Read More]